Xi's Purge of Handpicked Ministers Shatters Stability Image
Comment of the Day

September 21 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Xi's Purge of Handpicked Ministers Shatters Stability Image

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Instead, his government looks like it’s in disarray. Xi’s mysterious purge of his foreign minister in July, followed by the reported ouster of his defense chief less than two months later, is making China appear unstable to the outside world. The Chinese leader also overhauled the generals overseeing China’s Rocket Force, which manages the nation’s nuclear arsenal, without giving an explanation.

And those are just the firings that have been made public. 

While most analysts don’t see any threat to Xi, who has amassed more power than any leader since Mao Zedong, questions are being raised about his management style. Morale within the Foreign Ministry in particular is very low, with anxiety running high among a group of bureaucrats that see themselves as professional diplomats who don’t want to get caught up in political power plays, according to Chinese officials who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive information. 

Eoin Treacy's view

Occasional purges of high profile cadres is a de rigueur for authoritarian regimes. If one’s position is improved by official dictate it can just as easily be erased by official dictate. It’s easy to gloss over what a controlled economy really means when the direct of control is one’s interests. The challenge for global investors today is there are significant doubts about whether the Chinese administration is aligned with their best interests.

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